Justice is the basic fundamental pillar of any state that vows to provide and safeguard the rights of citizens. Pakistan is in hot water when it comes to the provision and prevalence of justice. The feudal lords, corrupted politicians and elite class of Pakistan is plundering the country since independence and now the things have taken a deadly turn where these people are taking full advantage of their power and influence to alter and corrupt the judiciary of Pakistan. The criminal justice system of any country is based on police, prosecution and judiciary which are unfortunately dominated and controlled by some puppets of country’s wealthy and influential families. Because Pakistan’s system is so weak and archaic, it is a piece of cake for any powerful and wealthy individual to be acquitted after committing any crime. The Pakistani criminal justice system has so many flaws that it is quite easy for any perpetrator to get a clean chit from the courts. As a result, the system has lost the trust of the general public, particularly the educated, who prefer to address their conflicts outside of the criminal justice system.
In Pakistan, just like any other civilized nation, justice system begins with a police department. The police are the primary cause of Pakistan’s criminal justice system’s failure. Pakistan’s police force is the country’s most corrupt institution, with levels of corruption that defy belief. Although the primary goal of the police force is to protect citizens, the average Pakistani citizen not only despises the police, but also tries to avoid them and all things associated to them. The police station in Pakistan is a place where ever white collarindividual is terrified of going even to register a legitimate complaint. Secondly, despite the fact that provincial governments created prosecution departments, they are useless and have no powers in practice. Provincial governments have so far failed to offer appropriate resources and required legislation to the prosecution, both of which are necessary for the functioning of today’s criminal justice system. Lastly the judiciary, despite the fact that the government has invested a significant amount of money and resources in the judiciary over the previous decade, the institution is in poor form and fails to deliver. Judges in Pakistan’s criminal justice system are well paid and have greater resources than the police and prosecution, but their effectiveness is lacking. The acquittal rate in Pakistani courts is over 80%, which means that if a person commits a crime in Pakistan, he has an 80% chance of being acquitted under this system. Another big issue is the delay in justice, as criminal cases in Pakistani courts are adjudicated over years rather than months. The ones punished are always the commoners with no power or contact with powerful people otherwise the influential ones and those connected to them get away with any kind of crime they commit with honor.
Latest incidents that took place in Pakistan were an eye opener to the whole country and a sign that the country is at the brink of collapse if these heinous crimes gounpunished. One of the most heart wrenching incident took place in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan where a girl named Noor Mukaddam was brutally murdered by a guy Zahir Jaffer on July 20. But the question raised here is despite of nationwide public outcry for justice, why Zahir Jaffer is not being dealt with justice at the first place and why the case is still the talk of the town?Probably because both parties are strong the victim is the daughter of former foreign ambassador of Pakistan Shaukat Mukaddam and Zahir Jaffer is a member of the Jaffer Group of Companies, the Chief Brand Strategist for Ahmed Jaffer & Company (Private) Limited and owner of multiple companies. If the victim’s party even lack an inch of power in comparison, consequences will be as same as happened in Shahzeb murder case.
In 2019, The Counter Terrorism Department officials open fired at the family in the car and killed the parents of three and when the family of deceased tried to get them pay for their crime, the whole police department supported the officials involved and threatened the family which resulted in the acquittal of the alleged ones and the victim’s family accepted the verdict. Several cases has been reported where such act of injustice was portrayed and yet no one was able to put the justice back to its purest form. Take it back to 90s when Hassan Nasir, a Communist leader, was assassinated in Lahore Fort during an interrogation in 1960 or let it be 2021 when Usama Nadeem, a 22-year-old university student, was shot multiple times by police after refusing to obey instructions to stop. Why the matters of court are dealt by the powerful themselves?
Individuals’ relative thinking can be influenced by the disparity between what is just and what is unjust, especially in children. Their inability to distinguish between right and wrong, as well as their application of this worldview to their daily relationships and interactions with society, can be detrimental rather than productive. People in a society where social injustice exists and people’s fundamental rights are violated believe their voice is unimportant, despite the reality that the people’s power is greater than the power of those in authority. Victims of social injustice who are subjected to unjust oppression on a regular basis are at danger of becoming depressed. When people’s voices aren’t heard and are instead greeted with greater injustice, it instils fear in their hearts. In most regions of the world, social injustice frequently results in casualties, whether in the form of human lives or property at the time of protest and rallies. The terrible issue is that the majority of these deaths are attributed to innocent people striving for a better country and lifestyle. The absence of justice in Pakistan contributed the most in the prevalence of criminal activities where people does not take their matters to the court and deal with them on their own which lead to killings and widespread fear of violence. Pakistan’s homicide rate was at level of 3.9 cases per 100,000 population in 2018 according to UNODC.
Everyone should be judged for their wrong doings quickly and fairly keeping apart their financial status, class or any other means that are currently used to get away with the crimes so that the lost faith of citizens of Pakistani in its judicial system can be restored which will pave the way for the people to get their issues resolved by the courts. Otherwise people will keep on to make their own judgments which will lead to the incidents like the one happened recently where the man was murdered by the other man and the victim’s wife married to the murderer and killed him by her own to get her husband’s revenge. We will keep on coming across this type of incidents until and unless the Justice is served to the deserving ones. The police and other law enforcement departments can eliminate corruption by improving their ways to hire and train officers in ethics and cultural awareness. The officials should be paid enough salary so that they can fulfill their needs and there should be a process of data collection to track activities of the departments. The courts need not to get influenced by anyone to keep their judgements fair and square and also minimize the delays in the giving final judgements. Justice is the most sensitive and yet most discussed issue and is the key to the peaceful and prosperous State.